Find out about our Decanter World Wine Awards 2014 USA & Central America judging panel with biographies of the Regional Chair Jon Bonné plus Arvid Rosengren, Bob Betz MW, Mark Andrew, Pierre Mansour and Virginia Philip MS.

Regional chair: Jon Bonné

Bonné is wine editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, responsible for the paper’s wine and spirits coverage and the annual Top 100 Wines, which has earned him two James Beard Foundation Awards. He is the author of The New California Wine, shortlisted for an André Simon award in 2013, and is also a Decanter columnist. Previously, Bonné was lifestyle editor/wine columnist for MSNBC, and has written about wine for titles including Saveur, Food & Wine and The Art of Eating. Raised in New York, Bonné learned about wine working at his father’s food and catering business.

Judges

Arvid Rosengren

Arvid Rosengren is the wine director of restaurant group Copenhangen Concepts, which owns and runs eight restaurants along three concept lines: MASH (steakhouse), Umami (Japanese/French fusion) and Le Sommelier (French brasserie). Joining the company in June 2011, Rosengren was previously the head sommelier at two of the group’s restaurants in Copenhagen, and prior to that worked in Stockholm at Restaurant Le Rouge, and spent a few months in the UK at the Hotel du Vin in Birmingham in 2008. Winning many awards on the sommelier competition circuit, Rosengren was named Best Sommelier of Sweden 2010 and last year became the Best Sommelier of Europe 2013, going on to compete in the Best Sommelier of the World semi-finals in Tokyo. Rosengren also teaches at sommelier schools in Scandinavia and writes for publications, including Livets Goda, and publishes his own blog at arvidrosengren.com.

Bob Betz MW

Bob Betz MW is the winemaker of Betz Family Winery in Washington State, a company he and his wife established in 1997. The path to starting their own winery began in the early 1970s after a year spent in the vineyards of Europe. Upon returning to the USA, Betz began his career with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates where he worked for 28 years in communications, education, quality management and production, eventually retiring as vice president of winemaking research. During his time at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Betz managed the company’s international joint ventures: Col Solare (Marchesi Antinori) and Eroica (Dr. Loosen). He initially graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in zoology, and on passing the MW he received both the Villa Maria Award for the highest scores on the viticultural exam, and the Robert Mondavi Award for the highest overall scores in all theory exams.

Mark Andrew

Mark Andrew is the senior wine buyer at Kensington-based merchant Roberson Wine. In addition to its award-winning shop on London’s Kensington High Street, Roberson supply wine to many of the UK’s top restaurants. When Andrew is not seeking out interesting new wines, he runs Roberson’s Wine School and fine wine tastings. In his spare time, Andrew is editor of Noble Rot magazine and studying towards the Master of Wine qualification.

Pierre Mansour

Pierre Mansour spent four years with Berry Bros & Rudd as duty manager of its Heathrow store after an introduction to the wine trade in 1995 with the Antique Wine Company. He completed the WSET diploma in 1998 before joining Vinopolis as tastings manager, and in 2000 Mansour joined The Wine Society to oversee tastings and events, before taking on the role of buyer in 2004. He currently buys The Society’s Australian, New Zealand, Spanish, North American and Lebanese wines.

Virginia Philip MS

Virginia Philip became the tenth woman in the world (there are now 26), to earn the extraordinary accreditation of Master Sommelier. This achievement was complemented when she earned the national title of “Best Sommelier of the United States” in 2002. In 2012, Virginia was nominated for a James Beard Award. In addition to her role as Consulting Wine Director for The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida (known for one of the strongest wine programs in the USA) she is also the proprietor of the Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy located in West Palm Beach, Florida. Virginia is also known for her strong mentoring skills both to the trade and the consumer and is a contributor to “Fisher Island Magazine” and “Yachts International”.

Written by John Abbott